13/7/18. When we arrived at the campsite in Fischbach, the same one that we used last summer, we found we were the only ones staying in the cyclists’ area and so we were able to take one of the prime spots right on the lakeside. There was no sign of a large family of ducks like last year (there was an “army”of 18 ducklings following their mother around). Instead there was a swans nest about 5 metres from our tent with a mother and two cygnets. The father seemed to think his role was limited to offshore protection patrols.
With two full days before the ”kids” arrived we decided to have one lazy day and one energetic one. The showers on Thursday morning were sufficiently heavy to deter even Stephen so the bike ride around the lake was deferred to Friday. He just lounged around the tent reading and listening to podcasts all day while Christine combined similar “activities” with a walk into Immenstaad to pick up food.
A heavy thunderstorm that evening did not augur well for the bike ride next day. Christine was amazed when Stephen fell asleep at about 8 o’clock despite the extremely loud drumming of raindrops on the tent but he was briefly woken about 15 minutes later when there was the most enormous clap of thunder seemingly overhead.
The showers on Friday morning seemed a little lighter than Thursday and so we set off around the lake…
In opposite directions!
You may well ask “Why?”
Despite all our many, many years of cycling together we still ride at very different speeds. Stephen has managed to train himself to stop at various points such as the top of hills, public toilets and junctions when we’re not familiar with the route and might get separated. None of these applied this time as we were going on a circular route which we had both ridden several times before. In addition, Stephen wanted to go anti clockwise “Because we already always go clockwise” while Christine wanted to finish with the “pretty bit” through Meersburg, Hagnau and Immenstaat rather than alongside the busy main road from Friedrichshafen.
As it turned out we both made it all the way round (well, technically, not all the way round because we took a ferry between Constance and Meersburg cutting out the uninteresting northern part of the lake – but the Bodensee Radmarathon (= Lake Constance Cycle Ride) does the same every year so it is “allowed”, right?). It was between 125 and 130 km (depending on whose bike computer you looked at! Christine took a slightly shorter route around the Rhine delta because it is an exposed stretch and the weather was not looking good at the time)
And, since you ask, we did meet up! It was in Switzerland, close to the Austrian border. We were both rather surprised – Christine because it was just after her short cut and Stephen because his computer was showing only 65km compared to Christine’s 60km! (Additional motivation for the rest of the ride for him!!!!!)
The weather was much better in the afternoon and we both arrived back “home” well before dinner time (although Christine’s arrival was delayed somewhat by a celebratory ice cream sundae 10 km from the end!)
On Saturday we made our way to the flat we had rented in Lindau at the southern end of the lake and where we were joined by the newly-engaged Alaric and Annabelle and the Bahrain exiles Conal, Tamsin and Reuben. We’ll spare you the details of our week together other than to say we had a wonderful time and it was over too quickly! (And, of course, 7 month old Reuben was joint star of the show along with Annabelle’s new ring!